The car analyzed traffic information collected by camera and LiDAR sensors

Korean carrier LG Uplus and Hanyang University are carrying out a 5G self-driving car trial in Seoul, Korean press reported.

The telco and and the university’s Automotive Control and Electronic Lab (ACE Lab) showcased an autonomous vehicle driving itself for 25 minutes across 8 kilometers, using 5G connectivity.

The Level 4 self-driving car — dubbed A1 — drove along congested roads, including two expressways and bridges, according to the reports.

The Society of Automotive Engineers classifies the capabilities of autonomous cars ranging from level 0 to level 5. Level 5 refers to a stage in which human driving is completely eliminated. This trial in Seoul was close to a level 4 system — which does not require human intervention in most situations, though a human driving option remains for difficult or preferable circumstances, according to LG Uplus.

A1′s artificial intelligence analyzed traffic information collected by cameras and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors installed on the car to make decisions on its own, such as adjusting the speed and changing lanes.

 “5G-enabled autonomous vehicles can help alleviate traffic jams and prevent accidents,” Sunwoo Myoungho, ACE Lab’s director, was quoted as saying. “Our final goal is aimed at significantly reducing human errors and improving safety on roads.”

LG Uplus said the adoption of 5G technology allowed the self-driving vehicle to receive essential traffic information in real time, increasing traffic safety and reducing response time.

 “5G network’s low latency is considered a key factor that improves the safety of autonomous vehicles,” said Lee Sang-min, senior vice president of LG Uplus’ Future and Converted Division. “The test drive was meaningful, allowing the autonomous vehicle to show its advanced capabilities in a challenging road environment.”

LG Uplus recently confirmed that it aims to complete the deployment of 5G infrastructure in major cities across the country by the end of the year.

The carrier has already deployed around 5,500 5G base stations across the country, according to recent press reports. LG Uplus has said that cities where it has already installed 5G base stations include Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Bucheon, Goyang, Gwangmyeong, Hanam and other cities in Gyeonggi Province.

LG Uplus, together with rival SK Telecom and KT Corp. launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive competition.The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in limited areas in Seoul and other major cities.

Last week, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT decided to postpone the commercial launch of nationwide 5G commercial services by local carriers, which was expected to occur by the end of March.

“Commercialization of 5G is possible when various factors such as network, smartphones and service are ready,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Industry sources said that the launch of 5G devices and trials currently being carried out by operators took more time than what was initially expected, local news agency Yonhap News said.

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